X-Men Blue #1
Last week I reviewed the first issue of X-Men Gold, so in the sake of fairness I took a look at X-Men Blue. This is the original team of X-Men (Jean Grey, Cyclops, Angel, Ice Man, and Beast), brought to the modern day. So, they are a younger, less grizzled team as compared to Gold. I’ll say this right away, this book gets an instant thumbs up for having my favorite X-Man (Beast, although he’s not blue or fury in this one, but one can’t complain too much).
Let me start my actual review by saying it’s nice to read an X-Men book without a ton of history. While there is nothing wrong with previous X-Men teams, this incarnation has only had a series or two of history, since they are so new. Which I guess is ironic, since they’re the first team there ever was. To be honest, the whole time travel thing trips me up no matter what we’re talking about.
Anyway, the book is written by Cullen Bunn, who does a nice job of giving the X-Men a renewed sense of youth, as we so often don’t get with these teams, and keeping the action moving. He also included the Juggernaut, which is always a plus. The art is done by Jorge Molina and Matteo Buffagni, and the two do a good job lending the sense of youth and optimism to the team. This story took me a little by surprise because the human bystanders were actually grateful to the X-Men. That’s something I haven’t read in a while, so it was nice to see that difference.
I’ll also say that the coolest part of this story is the last page reveal. It sets up an interesting dynamic, and I’ll be interested to see where it goes from here. In addition there is a back up feature that hints at something much more, and it features the Wendigo. Nice.
Lastly, and this doesn’t actually have to do with the story, I just really have to say how great it is that Marvel does these little recaps at the beginning of their books. Way to go, Marvel.
Justice League of America #4
I’m going to start by saying that I’m a big fan of DC’s B and C level characters. While I do enjoy characters like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, there’s always been something fascinating to me about the characters beneath the surface. In short, that’s what made me pick up this book. The current Justice League of America roster includes Batman (He’s the only A lister here), Black Canary, Vixen, the Atom, the Ray, Lobo, and Frost. I’m a sucker for a line up like that. But then, well, the villains were Lord Havok and the Extremists. It’s been a while since I’ve seen that team, so it was nice.
This issue wraps up the current story arc, dealing with Havok. It was written by Steve Orlando (who I seem to hear more and more about these days) and is one final, epic battle between the JLA and the Extremists. It was good to see them throw down with this violent bunch who are (again) not A listers by any means. When DC lets their lesser known characters out to breath, it always feels fresh. The issue was well paced and had plenty of action, and everybody on the JLA got their stuff in. That can be a bit tricky with team books, but it’s fine here.
The art was by Ivan Reis who is tried and true. I always enjoy looking at his art, and this was no exception. His depiction of the action was fluid, and each character had a unique look. The man knows what he’s doing here.
Now, while this s a conclusion, it does seem to end somewhat open, for something that they will tap into later on. And it involved a hero named Blue Jay who I don’t think I’ve seen for many years, but always liked. So that was a definite bonus. This book seems to serve as a nice platform for heroes that deserve a bit more showcasing, and I can always get behind that. I’ll be looking forward to what sort of adventures this team goes on in the future, and what characters they’ll bring out along the way.
When doing these reviews, I like to jump on #1s when I can find them, and that’s where this book comes into play. Plus, this is a Boom! book, and I enjoy that company quite a bit. OK, so here’s the gist: this book takes place in an alternate future where all technology has failed. In its stead are little creatures called gods, and most everyone has a god. They basically do everything for people. The main character is a shaper, a person who can retool gods, but doesn’t have a god of his own.
It’s a very original concept. From beginning to end I found myself appreciating the creativity of the narrative. Simon Spurrier writes this title, and I think he’s really come up with something unique. Boom! is really good at diversifying its storytelling and Spurrier continues this with Godshaper. It also greatly benefits from Jonas Goonface’s art. The art has its own look, not a copied, standard comic book art feel. Which is always good. I love opening a book and finding art stands out.
Also, much like Black Cloud from last week, the coloring of this book was quite nice. I think indie books are able to try out different color schemes a little easier than the big books. Or, at least that’s the way it’s seemed recently. But these colors really popped. They helped give it that Boom! feeling. However (and quite oddly) it doesn’t say who colored the book. It might be Goonface, or someone else who worked on the book, but it’s not listed in the credits.
This is definitely the most creative book I’ve read thus far this week, if not in some time. There’s enough intrigue and sci-fi world building to keep intrigue going, and people coming back to this title.